Monday, September 27, 2010

Back from San Francisco

I'm back after a fabulous weekend in SUNNY San Francisco. The gallery talk and reception at Corden Potts was a wonderful experience in which I had the opportunity to think about my work more deeply and connect with other artists and collectors. Jan Potts and Liz Corden are awesome as is their gallery. It was one of those perfect days in which I was surrounded by family and friends talking about what I love.

It was great to see my photography friends including Luis Delgado. He has been incredibly prolific and has an exhibit, Amuse Bouche & Arbor at the Gallery 291 (291 Geary, 5th Floor). A little closer to home (my home, that is) is Mano Mundo Corazón,Artists Interpret La Lotería at the Center for Book & Paper Arts,Columbia College from September 9 - December 10. He told me has has 6 different venues in which he is showing his work. For more info, go to his website.

I had a chance to catch up with Ann Jastrab, an amazing, charismatic gallery director of the RayKo Photo Center in SF. Ann is a great supporter of photography and from what I heard, may be single handedly responsible for the amazing gallery opening turn out at Rayko. They are lucky to have her. BTW, they are having a 2010 KODACHROME JURIED SHOW with an October 4th deadline. Check it out!

I also met Rachel Phillips and was thrilled to become familiar with her work and talk "shop." Rachel does pigment transfers prints onto vintage envelopes. She is represented by Modernbook Gallery.

Mayfair Air Mail

PA Square House

Hotel Plaza

Heather Polley's portfolio, Vanitas, was a pleasure to view in person. They are exquisite prints of still lifes.

The Five Senses

In her words...
"As a member of Bay Area Photographers Collective, I had the opportunity to participate in our "group project", where every interested member works on the same theme. "Loss" was the new topic, and I was not sure whether I would participate. When I thought about ideas that other BAPC members had for the project, it did not resonate with my own life experiences. My immediate family and friends are, thankfully, all still alive and healthy. I decided that I needed to approach the topic from a completely different direction for it to be truly personal work. I wanted to address a fear of loss in the future—loss of loved ones, of youth, of opportunities for happiness in my life. I asked friends and family most dear to me for symbolic belongings to photograph, as a way to contain their memory while they still live.

The series Vanitas is inspired by European, especially Dutch Baroque, still life painting. Vanitas as a genre employed props as reminders of the transience of life and the inevitability of death. These photographs are not intended to be slavish copies of Old Masters. Some of the original paintings deliberately contained seductive objects to make a moralistic stance about sin, while simultaneously celebrating life’s pleasures. I have turned this notion on its head by removing any moral undertones and simply concentrating on the sensuality of the photograph itself. Savor it all before it fades to dust.

I have included many traditional objects symbolic of the transience of life, including fruit, flowers, overturned empty glasses, snuffed candles, sweets, jewelry, watches, portraits, and anything in a state of decay. Along the way I also chose my own symbolic objects, many of which have been literally cast off of living things, such as shells, cracked eggs, feathers, seed pods, and broken glass.

I view each photograph as a freestanding piece, much like the individual paintings that inspired them. Each piece may have a unique composition and may address a unique point of view. The series has expanded into exploring loss that has already occurred in my life."

The Elixir of Love

Mandarin Oranges

Seed Pod and Parrot Feathers

Alyson Belcher's pinhole self portraits reminded my so much of Austrian photographer Rudolf Koppitz's (1884-1936) nude self portraits. It seems they are both drawing from the collective unconscious. Alyson is represented by the Robert Tat Gallery and she mentioned that is is gearing up for a show at the BMG Gallery in Woodstock, NY.

San Francisco was full of surprises, one of which looked like a gay pride gathering. We were driving thru the city and happened upon some men walking toward the event in their "birthday suits," plus socks, hiking boots and backpacks. Being a photographer, I, of course, photographed out the car window....but I will spare you the details.

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